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China demands US remove 'unjustifiable' sanction for Russian weapons purchase

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Friday 21 Sep 2018

China demands US remove 'unjustifiable' sanction for Russian weapons purchase

(Sharecast News) - China has demanded that the US remove sanctions placed on a defence agency and its director for purchasing Russian weapons.
Li Shangfu, the director of China's equipment development department (EDD), was sanctioned by the US State Department on Thursday for allegedly engaging in the purchase of 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and a S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.

They argued that the measures were not put in place to undermine the Chinese military but rather to impose costs on Russia in response to its interference in the US election process, the country's actions in Ukraine and "other malign activities".

Beijing did not join in with the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its Western allies in the wake of the Crimea crisis and China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the actions by the US on Thursday were "unjustifiable".

Shuang added that the Chinese government was already engaged in "solemn negotiation" with Washington.

The EDD and Shangfu have both been added to a blocked persons list, meaning any assets they hold in the US have been frozen and that American citizens are "generally prohibited" from doing business with them.

Thirty-three Russians were also added to the list on Thursday, bringing the total roster to 72 people.

With Asia accounting for 70% of the market for exports from Russian arms producers, the move is likely to be seen as an attempt to discourage others frequent customers such as India and Vietnam from following through with major Russian purchases.

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